Jamshedpur : Medicine shops downed their shutters to support day-long nation-wide strike called to protest against Central government move to regularise online sale of medicines. Around 900 retail and 300 wholesale medicine outlets were closed in the city during the day.
General secretary of Jamshedpur wing of Jharkhand Chemists and Druggists Association (JCDA), Ashish Chatterjee said that the strike as successful while admitting about the inconvenience faced by public. “We know about the problems faced by masses and the shopkeepers in the city also faced a loss to the tune of Rs 90 lakh. But we were forced to take such a stand,” said Chatterjee.
Singhbhum Pharmacists Association official said that nearly 25 shops owned by pharmacists remained open for masses as they protested against the strike of JCDA. The nationwide strike call has been given by the All India Chemists and Druggist Organisation (AICDO) against online pharmacies and mandatory posting of pharmacists in the medicine shops.
Referring to the permission for online sale of medicines, an official said the move will affect nearly medical traders and render jobless about 40 lakh persons employed at different medical stores. He also said that online sale is also risky as it can promote irrational use of drugs, especially sedatives.
Further, online drug delivery is an illegal trade and not permitted under the Drug and Cosmetic Act. Anyone may order any medicine on the basis of scanned prescription and send it to online firms. “Chances are the prescription could be fake,” he said.
“My father is suffering from hypertension. I had come from duty in the night and had failed to buy the medicine. I thought that I would bring the medicine around breakfast of my gfather when the medicine shop from where I regularly purchase medicine gets opened. However, this morning the shop did not open,” said Ramesh Kumar a resident of Sakchi.